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Martial arts are becoming more and more popular and rightly so. Although, do we know the origins of the different martial arts? Below is the history of some of them.


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It is a modern martial art at least in Japan, it is considered as such. There is indeed a classification of martial arts in Japan. Are considered as modern martial arts all those which were born after the Meiji Era. That is to say after 1868. Judo was born in 1882 and its creator Jigoro Kano wanted to revisit the ancient ju-jitsu that he found difficult to assimilate for new students. Indeed, the old masters didn’t allow the discipline to evolve by taking away its warrior component. Jigoro Kano had proposed to eliminate all the dangerous elements of the discipline and replace them with more appropriate and efficient gymnastic movements. This was the birth of the “moral of flexibility” or judo.


This martial art is ancient. It is estimated that it originated in the 16th century in Japan. However, it is important to mention that contemporary and ancient ju-jitsu have only the name in common. First, there has never really been a single style of ju-jitsu. When it was first created, there were already several schools. Jujitsu was purely a fighting technique, but was practiced without weapons. The current version of this martial art appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, when many masters worried about the disappearance of this art decided to collect and unify the knowledge of several schools.


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Karate has not always been a Japanese martial art. By studying the roots of this art, we realize that it is a Chinese martial art. It then developed on the island of Okinawa, which was for a long time an independent kingdom of Japan. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, many Japanese historians have tried to erase in the memories all evidence of its Chinese origins. Today, one speaks about karate-dō which can be translated as “the way of the empty hand”. However, there was a time when this martial art was rather called “Chinese hand” or “Tang hand”. It is considered nowadays that master Gichin Funakoshi is the founder of contemporary karate.

The martial arts history is captivating. When studying it more closely, one quickly realizes that there are links between the martial arts of neighboring countries.